After this short time, I have only one piece of advice to anyone even remotely considering going to www.betonsports.com: NEVER, EVER put money on your favorite team.
On Wednesday morning, my two roommates and I connected to the site and glanced over the early lines for that evening's games. We decided that if Arizona was favored (we never even imagined the thought of the Wildcats LOSING to ASU) by anything under six points, then that would be our big game. To our surprise, and to our delight, the experts had listed Arizona as a mere three-point favorite over the woeful Sun Devils!
We couldn't believe it. Three points? Wow. Someone from that site must have graduated from ASU because that line was giving the Sun Devils (the same team that lost at home to Portland State…by TEN!) way too much credit.
Eric and Karl are more or less new to college basketball and asked me to show them my scouting report for the UofA/ASU game. I even went so far as to read it aloud to them and afterwards asked them what they thought the score would be.
"Eighty-five, sixty-nine Arizona," Eric said.
"Eighty-three, seventy-two Arizona," Karl added.
The amount that we combined to risk on the game is inconsequential (or, at least it was until Arizona got down by double digits anyway) but almost as soon as the bet was confirmed I had the feeling that we had done something we shouldn't have. Never put money on your favorite team, simple.
Final score: ASU 88, Arizona 72.
Now Eric and Karl cannot be blamed for this one in the least. Eric is more into cars and paintball than he is college sports and Karl is interested mainly in women, beer and…beer. It was ME who was supposed to be the so-called expert on college basketball, and definitely in Arizona and the Pac-10.
Stupid me, I told them it was a lock.
"ASU is horrible!" I said. "Arizona is rolling right now and ASU just got swept at home by the same two teams Arizona smoked in McKale. This should be a walk-over."
Karl, who is the world's most annoying (aren't they all?) Duke fan, said that he was going to put (undisclosed amount) on an Arizona and Maryland two-game parlay.
"No don't," I said. "Arizona will win, sure, but Maryland could have a tough time winning at Wake Forest."
Twelve hours later, Arizona got hammered and Maryland destroyed the Demon Deacons at Wake Forest.
So much for me knowing jack about picking college basketball games.
When I got home last night from Tempe, I arrived to an empty apartment. Both of my roommates—Eric AND Karl—didn't come home from the bar where they had watched the "Debacle in the Desert". As of now, they still aren't home. And because of that one game--that one completely inconsequential game-in the grand scope of things—I have learned two very valuable lessons.
One, gambling is evil, and two, don't ever live with a Duke fan. It's enough to drive you to betting on your favorite team.
And we all know how dumb that is…right?